Rockland Co. residents wait for word from Haiti

January 14, 2010 1:43:14 PM PST
One month and six days into her job as Spring Valley Mayor Noramie Jasmine faces a daunting challenge. She is trying to comfort the 3000 Haitian Americans in her village while praying for good news about her husband, Ronald. He was in Haiti on business when the earthquake hit. She last spoke to him on Sunday.

"I'm asking people to keep me in their prayers. I don't want to get emotional, but I am hoping for the best," Jasmine said.

The mayor and other local leaders held an afternoon conference call with Haitian American elected officials from across the country in an effort to coordinate their relief efforts.

"Sometimes you send relief over there and some different organizations and individuals get it and run the other way with it," Rockland County Legislator Jacques O. D'I. Michel said.

Even amateur ham radio operators like Joel Kornreich have heard little information out of Haiti. Ham radios often provide the first means of communication following a natural disaster.

"Once we hear the other amateur radio operators in Haiti, we can then ask who is alive, where are they, and then we can relay it. You can't relay anything if there are no communications whatsoever, and right now they are at a standstill," Kornreich said.

UPDATE: Spring Valley Mayor Noramie Jasmine's husband was located in Haiti on Thursday. He is alive and he is safe.